Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Tip #8- 5 Cheap Gifts that don't scream it!

I had a great meeting with my savvy savings team this weekend. We all discussed how the stores have really been looking for business early this year. The day after Thanksgiving is almost passe this year with all the bargains they have handed us early! We have been shocked at all the freebies or cheapies that have been available to consumers this year! It's nuts and we have all been able to get a haul for nothing.

So, maybe you haven't done your shopping yet and budgets are limited? You don't have time on your side as much now as you only have 30-ish days until Christmas...this post is for you! This week I focus on 10 gifts that are cheap, but don't look it! Plus, they are easy to acquire and don't take a lot of time for those of you who haven't jumped on the coupon bandwagon yet.

Gift #1- Magazine Subscriptions...super easy to get and give! You can select a very targeted magazine or a general one that anyone would love. The best thing is that you can most likely get one for under $10 and your recipient will get to think of you 12 times over the next year every time they get it! Cool, huh?

Gift #2- Gift of time. I talked about this earlier in the year, but this is truly a rarity this day in age. It won't cost you a dime and your recipient will LOVE IT! You can make up a cute certificate for babysitting, closet organization, car washing, yard work, etc. Pick something you are good at and give it!

Gift #3- Meals To Go. Shop the sales for cool dishes or cooking pans and make up a meal in a dish and gift it. They get the pan and the's easy, but doesn't cost a lot! My hot pick for this is the Le Creuset combo pack at Hartwicks that runs around $30. It includes a 9x13 baking dish as well as a square baker. They often run coupons for $5 off this price point so for around $25 you can get 2 high end baking dishes. Make 1 dessert and 1 casserole and woo-hoo, you have 2 gifts done and who wouldn't want a free treat with bonus!

Gift #4- Consumable Gifts with a theme. This is a great way to put together a very fun and easy gift pack on short notice. You could pick a movie theme (gift card for Netflix or Blockbuster, popcorn, candy, etc. They have cute popcorn tubs in the red dot section of Target) or Oregon treats (grab some Oregon made treats-cheese, smoked salmon, Euphoria truffles, etc)..a fun treat for someone who has everything!. Everyone loves gift baskets, so shop sales and apply coupons when possible and you can get a lot of cool stuff for hardly anything. If you have specific themes you would like ideas about, please let me know! I would be happy to give my feedback.

Gift #5-Handmade gifts. It's easy, yes it takes time, but sometimes these are the perfect gifts for those who have everything! Usable gifts are awesome and kids can be corralled to help with these types of gifts on a rainy day! Bookmarks and ornaments are easy to create. I love to find cool frames for cheap (coupons or discounts, etc) and then blow up a picture I have shot during the year to fill the's a special gift that is cheap!!! What do you enjoy making or doing? Handmade gifts don't have to require crafty skills, the photo idea is super easy and you don't have to be crafty. I think people often think homemade=crafts, but not necessarily, think outside the box and save $!

And 5 tips to save even more without really trying:
1) Buy things on Wed this week that may be Black Friday discounts later...take in you receipt and get the refunded difference. Most stores have at least a 7 day price drop guarantee!

2) Take advantage of the Pacific Time Zone and start shopping at 9:01 p.m. on Wed for stores that start their holiday sales on Thursday!

3) Visit for online promo codes that work and for free ship codes to help you save more!

4) Use the coupons that I refer you to on FB...for example, the $10 off a $10 purchase for Hallmark allows you to get at least a few things for FREE!

5) Visit and shop the local social networking deals from sites such as Mobba, Eversave, Groupon, Living Social, Gilt Group, Rue La La, etc. Many of these sites give you sign up credits and referral credits and it is a great way to get some nice freebies and cheapies this holiday season!

Happy Saving!

Summer H.

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